The Monster in the Maze

Yay!  Another Lego activity for history!  We built a labyrinth after reading about Theseus and the Minotaur in SOTW chapter eighteen. 

The Monster in the Maze ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

Okay, so I’ve heard of a Minotaur but didn’t know the story.  He’s supposed to be half man, half bull.  The closest we had was a gorilla.

The Monster in the Maze ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

Here’s Theseus complete with a weapon.  He’s got his string to help him find his way back out of the maze after he defeats the Minotaur.

The Monster in the Maze ~ Our Aussie HomeschoolThe Monster in the Maze ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

Here is the rope tied to a Lego brick so that he can find his way out again.  Not that our maze was all that complicated.  :)

The Monster in the Maze ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

And here’s Ladybug working on her maze.  Complete with wet hair.  She hasn’t shown too much interest in Lego but she loved building her own little maze.  She insisted on taking it to her room to work on during our afternoon rest time.  (aka Mama-needs-a-break-time.)

The Monster in the Maze ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

We found a couple of readers at the library that tell the story too, which Skeeterbug was happy to read.  This is the kind of story that will keep an 8yo boy interested!


I think I’ve got these out of order, I forgot to post this one.  Chapter fourteen in SOTW is The Israelites leave Egypt.  Story of the World is written so that it can be used secularly, but does include references to some Biblical events.  It is very easy to add more Bible to it, so it is a very popular choice for both secular and religious homeschoolers.  Our project for this chapter was to make a woven basket to go with the story of Moses. 

Moses Basket ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

This turned out to be a bit fiddly and I ended up finishing it all up with staples all over the place.

Moses Basket ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

Jitterbug and Ladybug painted the inside.  Skeeterbug was going to do the outside but we never got around to it.  Ladybug absconded with it and for awhile I found it around the house with various stuffed animals or dolls in it.

Moses Basket ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

Instead of doing a sticker activity scene like the Activity Guide suggests, we just coloured the pieces and laid them on top of the background to tell the story.  We’ll keep this in Skeeterbug’s history notebook so we can pull it out again sometime.

SOTW: Moses ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

I coloured the background.  Ladybug helped me colour the other pieces.  She said the pharaoh is pink “because he’s mad at the other guy.”  Here’s the Nile turned to blood…

SOTW: Moses ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

Ack!  Boils!

SOTW: Moses ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

Frogs!  Frogs everywhere!

SOTW: Moses ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

Skeeterbug’s colouring page from the chapter.  I don’t make him do all of these, he chooses to do them for most chapters.

SOTW: Moses ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

Mapwork showing the Israelites’ path out of Egypt, across the Red Sea and into Canaan.  Or the wilderness nearby, anyway.

SOTW: Moses ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

We still need to add a title to this page.  The red one came from here, I can’t find the link for the other.

Moses Lapbooking ~ Our Aussie HomeschoolMoses Lapbooking ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

We also read the Exodus by Brian Wildsmith which was perfect.  I found the illustrations to be a bit busy but the story was good.


We also flipped through this Tabernacle Model book by Tim Dowley.  and worked on the paper model of the tabernacle.  We were excited about it until we discovered how fiddly it was.  Lots of tiny pieces to fold and glue.  Skeeterbug lost interest in no time.  I’m setting this aside for when he’s older.  The link says it is unavailable now, I think I purchased it from a Christian bookstore.  The book itself was also a bit above his interest level, upper primary would be more suited to it I think.

Tabernacle ModelWe are about halfway through SOTW Volume 1.  Over the summer (January) I’m planning to do some catch up with history and science.  Hopefully we will be able to start Volume 2 (Middle Ages) toward the beginning of the school year. 

Charlotte’s Web

A couple of months ago we read Charlotte’s Web as a read-aloud.  I haven’t read it since I was a kid so it was fun to read again.  I had to get the copy with the cover I remember from my childhood.  There is also a version with Dakota Fanning on the front and live animals that mimics this cover.  I remember this as being the first big book I read as a child, I remember my teacher taking me to the school library to pick it out.  I remember telling her I cried at the end.

Charlotte's Web

Skeeterbug completed this lapbook to go with it.  It’s one of the literature units from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  I looked at the file more closely after we had finished the book and discovered she has included an activity guide for the book.  It guides you as to when to do each lapbook component and includes some extra activities.  I’ll have to take a closer look at this for future books, we are planning to do at least a couple more of them.

Charlotte's Web Literature Unit from COAH ~ Our Aussie HomeschoolCharlotte's Web Literature Unit from COAH ~ Our Aussie HomeschoolCharlotte's Web Literature Unit from COAH ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

We also watched the movie which we had never seen.  The kids all liked it and weren’t sad at the ending (a toss up with Jitterbug, he’s always upset when someone in the movie is sad, but he did fine with this one).  I’m hoping my younger two will have forgotten the story by the time they are ready to have it read aloud to them.  :)

Spelling Boards

We got these new mini-whiteboards with lines on them and a place to draw a picture.  Skeeterbug likes to draw pics to go with his dictated sentences.  These are perfect for it, and he gets more practice writing on lines which is something he has needed.  (The spelling words for this sentence were ‘who’ and ‘napping’.  I never knew there was a rule for when to double the consonant before adding a vowel suffix!  One syllable, one vowel, one consonant at the end.  I’m learning too.)

Mini Whiteboard for Spelling ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

This picture isn’t flipped, he actually decided to write backwards.  Very proud of himself. :)

Mini Whiteboard for Spelling ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

Here’s our board now that we have added all the suffix tiles for All About Spelling Level 3.  A bit crowded, but still works for building words with the tiles. 

AAS Board Level 3 ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

Jitterbug will be starting All About Reading Level 1 soon.  I opted to use a separate board for him so all the extra tiles won’t confuse him.  I have a large whiteboard that will fit all the letter tiles across the top.  He’s ready to read but a bit disappointed I can’t teach him in just one lesson!

Assyrian Siege Tower

Hands-on history projects don’t always have to be complicated and time-consuming.  Thank goodness!   Here’s our Assyrian siege tower we made to go along with chapter sixteen in Story of the World, as suggested in the Activity Guide.  The Assyrian soldiers would build ramps out of dirt next to city walls and then push the towers on wheels up the ramp.  (That’s a battering ram out front.)

Lego seige tower ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

And that’s an archer inside.

Lego seige tower ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

Armed with a banana.  :)   

Lego seige tower ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

This of course led to various designs of ramps and towers and whatnot.

Lego seige tower ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

  Lego tower = easy history activity!

Finished HWOT Book!

Skeeterbug just finished this Handwriting Without Tears book.  It’s actually a Grade 1 book.  I’m not sure why he is only finishing this near the end of Grade 2, I guess we just didn’t work through this one and the previous one fast enough.  The difference between this one and the Grade 2 book is the size of the lines and the amount of words/sentences vs. individual letters.  I probably should have just bumped him up without finishing this yellow book.  I’m still debating whether to do the Grade 2 book next, or skip him to the Grade 3 cursive book.  I think we’ll probably concentrate on the Grade 2 Printing Power book and maybe alternate it with the cursive book if he’s keen.  These books are quite thick and do take quite some time to work through if you are only doing a page or two a day.

HWOT: My Printing Book 

Just to show you he isn’t always thrilled with the pictures…

HWOT: My Printing Book

Making Brown

Back when we made our volcano I didn’t have enough brown paint on hand.  I quickly googled to see what colours we’d need to make brown and found that mixing all the primary colours would work beautifully.  (Don’t laugh, I really didn’t know that!  I thought that would give me grey or black.  An art teacher I am not.)  We quickly mixed some up.  So pretty!

Making Brown PaintMaking Brown PaintMaking Brown PaintMaking Brown Paint

I will never have to buy brown paint again!

Strengthening Fingers

The other day Skeeterbug asked if we could do school at the kitchen table.  Which was nice because it’s a much bigger table.  It just meant dragging everything out from the schoolroom, and then putting it all back later.  Ladybug happily got herself some peanuts to snack on while we worked.  (No peanut allergies here!)  I was watching her and thinking how much she was working her little fingers to shell the peanuts.  She was so concentrated on her ‘work’.

Shelling Peanuts

And so satisfied to be able to do it herself!

Shelling Peanuts

Fine motor skills the fun way!

A quick holiday

We recently had a short holiday in Warrnambool.  We stayed near the beach for a few days.  This time of year beach weather in Victoria is, um, questionable.  We had one good day, sunny and nice but not all that warm.  The next day it poured rain.


The kids enjoy jumping the waves.


Ladybug always runs afterward, lest she be sucked into the vast ocean.  She did fall down, getting thoroughly frightened and soaked.  Jitterbug fell too, he was soaked but not frightened.  :)


The weather was great for kite flying.  Actually, people tell me it’s always windy near Warrnambool.


I’m always afraid she’s going to let go of the string!

Beach! Beach!

We admired the local fauna.  :)


There is a great playground in Warrnambool, Lake Pertobe Adventure Park.  This was our second time visiting, we still haven’t gotten to all of it.  There are many great play areas there.  This is a giant maze.

Lake Pertobe Adventure Park

We love the flying fox.  This one is for under 12, there is one on the other side for over 12 and adults.

Lake Pertobe Adventure ParkLake Pertobe Adventure ParkLake Pertobe Adventure Park Lake Pertobe Adventure Park

A quick trip to Tower Hill Nature Reserve.  I guess that USA jumper along with our accents mark us as tourists wherever we go!

Tower Hill Nature Reserve

It’s quite a steep hike to the top.

Tower Hill Nature Reserve 

We did spot a koala!

Tower Hill Nature Reserve

The emus were not shy.  They were coming quite close to a family trying to enjoy a picnic lunch.  The family, even the kids, all raised an arm straight up in the air to look taller, standing up at times.  The emus turned away from them every time one of the adults stood up with an arm raised.

Tower Hill Nature Reserve

Then a trip down the Great Ocean Road.  Rain was rolling in which made for some pretty pictures, and a quick trot back to the car!

Great Ocean RoadGreat Ocean RoadGreat Ocean RoadGreat Ocean RoadGreat Ocean RoadGreat Ocean Road

That last pic is the Twelve Apostles, but on a different trip when the sun was shining.  I tweaked my back and couldn’t walk all the way down there this time.

Great fun, it seems like it is officially camping season now.  The weather has warmed up considerably since our trip a couple of weeks ago.  We’re ready for our annual week-long camping trip to the beach!

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